This Is Disgusting

I’m sure I’ll offend approximately half of our readers with this post, but I’m finding it hard to resist.  I was sidetracked by an email from McKinsey earlier this week while putting together slides for an upcoming investment committee and board meeting.  The piece was titled Preserving Combat Power When Defense Budgets Are Falling and while I have not yet gone through the entire paper thoroughly, one particular chart stood out to me.  The illustration displayed the scale of the cuts made by the US and other NATO countries, with the US defense budget largely flat and the rest of NATO down about six percent from peak.  More interesting, I thought, was the following chart, which we put together after slicing McKinsey’s data a little differently.

NATO Defense Spending

Does this not seem like overkill to anyone else?  Sure, our budget deficit is falling faster than expected, per the FT, thanks largely to an improving housing market.  But, “You don’t want to use the progress we are making as an excuse not to fix the problem, and there’s a very real risk that will happen,” per Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Hey Maya, I’m guessing we can save a few bucks here without putting our ability to protect the United States (or the rest of the world) in jeopardy.